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[Police Brutality] [Organizing] [ULK Issue 48]
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Fables and Facts: Fighting Police Brutality

When young Trayvon Martin was killed, people held candles and prayed to "God." And George Zimmerman walked away free. Then we heard of the young brother in Missouri, unarmed yet gunned down by a pig — an amerikkkan kolonial thug. The people held candles and quoted fables from the book of "God." The pig went free.

Cleveland, Ohio — Black child of twelve. Yes, Black not because of his dark skin color, but Black because of the gaping wound to human dignity because he was gunned down by another enforcer of white amerikkkan privilege. The people wept and prayed while the assassin slithered away quite free.

Then Wisconsin and another brother of African descent. Unarmed yet shot and killed by scum who are sworn to "protect and serve." The killer pig was not even charged with a crime while the people sing and pray and dance and wave candles to their "God." But suddenly — Baltimore.

Freddy Gray killed by pigs. This time people overturn vehicles; break into businesses; loot them; set fires; throw rocks and bottles at pigs. And six pigs are indicted.

Perhaps "God" merely honors large candles of burning buildings and burning cars? Or perhaps white amerikkkans only care about dead people of color when the financial losses come to Whitey? Like when the oppressed say, "Get your pigs under control or we will burn your fucking city to the ground."

Do we want social and economic justice that requires people held accountable? Or do we want merely to whine and pray and bemoan the injustice of the amerikkkan grand jury that failed to indict a pig who killed a brother selling loose cigarettes? Facts reveal observable actions leading to desired outcomes. Fables reveal actions of pointless futility.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This writer is spot on about the failure of prayer and kind requests to change systemic violence. It is only with force that the imperialists will give up their guns. Yet we don't mean to say that we should just take up arms and act without planning and organizing.

The righteous anger of the masses in Baltimore is a power that must be harnessed by a revolutionary vanguard party. The oppressed can coordinate their actions and ensure these actions are taken only when victory is possible through strong and centralized leadership. We are still at the stage of educating and building for revolution. Part of this work involves spreading anti-imperialist theory to all who know from personal oppression and experience that they must fight back, helping them to see the bigger picture and take up leadership in the struggle.

We must remember that in Oakland, California, cars were lit on fire and businesses were looted in response to the murder of 22-year-old New Afrikan Oscar Grant. Grant's murderer, a transit cop, was indicted, charged, and imprisoned. In the end, it was a slap on the wrist for this blatant murder. For a period of time the state will respond to people protesting in the streets. They may go through some motions or formalities to appease people and quell their anger. But ultimately there will just be more names to add to the list of oppressed nation people killed — a list that has been growing for centuries. It should be obvious that we need more fundamental changes to our daily life than body cameras and reliance on our present injustice system.

For more lessons from the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant, see our articles:
Oakland Stands Up
Weak Verdict, Stronger Movement
Oscar Grant: organization, line and strategy
Pig Gets Off for Murder

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[Organizing] [Spanish]
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Llamada para celebrar a luchadores(as) de libertad de Agosto Negro todo el año

En realidad, la celebración de Agosto Negro debería ser todo el año. Solo nosotros(as) podemos hacer que esto cambie. Carter G. Woodson es el creador de la semana de historia Afro-Americana (Black history week), y 50 años después tenemos mes de historial Afro-Americana (Black history month). Para los(as) que no tienen conocimiento de Agosto Negro, este mes se celebran a los(as) "luchadores(as) de libertad." El color de la piel es irrelevante. Te amo hermana Marilyn Buck (descansa en poder), Lolita Lebron (descansa en poder), y Silvia Berrideni, entre otras que no eran de color negro. Pero ellas eran negras. Porque para el(a) oprimido(a) de cualquier nacionalidad, negro no es un color.

Negro es un establecimiento creado para proteger los derechos civiles de uno(a). Negro es valentía. Negro es motivación propia para ganar. Negro es visión. Negro es respeto. Negro es amor. Negro es lealtad. Negro es unidad. Negro es orgullo. Negro(a) eres tu! Además y más importante, negra soy yo!

Colectivamente, estas expresiones de cariño negras somos nosotros(as) (por ejemplo, soldados unidos y soldadas unidas). Por esto creo que Agosto Negro, la celebración de luchadores(as) de libertad, debería ser todo el año.

En preparación para esta celebración, estoy llamando a todos los(as) camaradas que escojan a un(a) luchador(a) de libertad de su preferencia y sometan una redacción de 250 palabras de su escogido(a) luchador(a) de libertad, escribe porque lo(a) selecionaste y el impacto que éste(a) luchador(a) de libertad tuvo en tí. En solidaridad con Bajo Llave y Candado (BLC), (Under Lock & Key en inglés) estoy llamando a todos(as) los(as) leyentes de BLC que participen. Aunque cada artículo no sea publicado por limitaciones financieras y por espacio, su participación no será ignorada. Fortalezcamos a la voz de BLC. Porque si somos considerados la voz de BLC y no la fortalecemos, ¿quién lo hará?

La unidad es una herramienta poderosa cuando es aplicada adecuadamente. Unámosnos en vez de destruirnos.


El MIM(Prisiones) añade: Decidimos aceptar la llamada de este camarada para la presentación de redacciones de luchadores(as) de libertad todo el año, anunciandola durante Agosto Negro y siguiendo con la publicación de redacciones sometidas por leyentes de BLC en futuros ejemplares. De importancia particular en esta llamada, es el entendimiento que todos(as) los(as) prisioneros(as) son prisioneros(as) políticos(as) y por eso no solo identificamos a luchadores(as) de libertad como personas que fueron famosas por su activismo político antes de que fueron puestos(as) bajo llave y candado. En cambio, sugerimos que piensen de prisioneros(as) que te han influido en una manera positiva, incluyendo esos(as) que no han escrito libros o recibido atención por la prensa. Celebremos a todos(as) los(as) luchadores(as) de libertad y esforcemosnos en ser luchadores(as) de libertad nosotros(as) mismos(as).

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[Control Units] [Gang Validation] [California] [ULK Issue 45]
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The more things change, the more they stay the same

As early as October 2012, the administrators of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) have relentlessly advocated to the public how the step-down program (SDP) is an improvement upon the gang validation policies/practices that previously existed. But history informs us that any mantra of change being presented by the powers that be means more of the same, literally.

On a day in March 2015, I was the sole prisoner transferred out of Corcoran SHU via special transportation, as the warden issued some type of "special order" for me to be housed at CCI Tehachapi SHU. I have yet to see this "special order." I'm not going to get into the litany of horrendous living conditions that exist here at this point and time, however, I've witnessed countless prisoners be issued bogus rule violation reports (CDC 115 RVRs) and then coerced to start over and repeat the step that they were just in. This subjects the prisoner to being interned to indefinite solitary confinement status once again, as there are no mechanisms in place that would prohibit and/or prevent this process from reoccurring. It's nothing more than the same old barbaric and dehumanizing gang validation policies and practices.

For example, the most prominent reason for prisoners being issued CDC 115 RVRs is because their name has been found in a "kite" that was written by another prisoner. Not only is this contrary to our primary 5 core demands from the mass hunger strikes, in relation to behavior-based "individual accountability," but it is also contrary to the new SDP policy. In particular, CDCR memorandum dated 9 August 2013 states in part on page 4:


"At times this information includes a list of names or other personal information being found in another offender's possession that has some nexus to STG activity or behavior. During the DRB reviews, the offender whose name is simply on the list (versus the individual being in actual possession of the list) will not be held accountable for the contents."

But wait, it gets even better my people. While at Corcoran, counter-intelligence officer S. Niehus searched my personal legal property in February 2015 and stole ("confiscated") my legal exhibits for active legal cases under the false premise of it being gang-related contraband. In my first level 602 appeal interview with Institutional Gang Investigator Sergeant Pierce, he told me:


"Corcoran's litigation office has confirmed [your] active legal cases and that the confiscated materials were indeed legal exhibits for said court cases, but he is going to retain possession of them, as CDCR has deemed the materials to be gang-related contraband per CCR Title 15 Section 3378."

It can't be both ways! Either they're legal exhibits or not. This type of subjective rationale makes it fundamentally impossible to challenge these bogus allegations of gang activity, because no sooner do we get evidence that refutes these ridiculous allegations, it is then stolen under the falsity of being gang-related. How is this not more of the same old policies and practices? But more importantly, how can we win under these circumstances? It is imperative that the people send letters and emails to M.D. Stainer, Susan Hubbard, Scott Kernan and others in CDCR's headquarters in Sacramento, California to voice your outrage on this contradiction.


MIM(Prisons) adds: In the meantime, we will also fight from the angle of publicizing these abuses via our independent media resources (Under Lock & Key and prisoncensorship.info). We also fight injustice by offering educational materials and study groups to raise the political understanding of anyone with an interest in putting a permanent end to false imprisonment, torture via inhumane long-term isolation, and an oppressive state and military which tries to bully the entire world. The more we understand our oppression, the better equipped we will be to fight against it effectively.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Strive

My strive is to liberate
So with my scribe I demonstrate
Teaching those education who seek to be free
So with their own two eyes, the truth they will see
Oppressors abuse their authority with fallacious tendencies
To whom do officers rehabilitate, it ain't you or me
If I could liberate just one, maybe two, or even three
They will know the cause of a revolutionary
Realizing that one can make a difference
Look at Malcolm X or Nat Turner for instance
Each with their own position in the cause
So this is why I strive to perfect my flaws
For their descendants is why my ancestors died
So regardless if I fail at least I tried

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[Control Units] [Delaware Correctional Center] [Delaware]
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Delaware SHU Torture is Extreme

I'm currently incarcerated in a town I've never heard of called Smyrna, Delaware. I've been locked down in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) for 7 out of 9 years. The SHU torture here is something unheard of in regards to humanity. In my 7 years in the SHU I have received only 135 minutes of recreation a week and 45 minutes a week for showers. This totals to just 144 hours a year out of my cell, which is less than Gitmo, ADX, and Pelikkkan Bay.

We are not able to buy food on level 1. This means you come from the hole for 90 days only to do another 90 days in another building or tier. After 90 days if you don't catch a bogus write up for salt and pepper, reckless eye balling, not making your bed, or a fishing line, then you move to level 2. The reason the food buying is so critical is because they have us on an unwilling SHU diet - half portions of what the rest of the prisoners get outside.

Many guys like me have maxout dates, some are in the SHU with life for possession of marijuana under a bogus third strike. There are also misdemeanor convictions, parole violations, and probation violation. One more recently killed himself while waiting on a bed at the half way house.

They attempt to demoralize, dehumanize and ostracize us with their every move, and every rule newly created is another quadruple jeopardy.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade exposes more evidence of the unjust torture that are long-term control units. These exist in prisons across the country, and are the target of our campaign to shut down prison control units. There is no possible justification for the use of this extreme isolation, starvation diets, and inhumyn conditions. These units are tools of social control, primarily targetting prison activists, oppressed nations and others deemed a threat to the Amerikan criminal injustice system.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Stand Proudly

Placed in this prison
Under a false pretense
Forced to work each day
Or face consequence

I have to follow their rules
And all their regulations
If you are politically aware
You end up in bad situations

They try to keep you down
Under their boot heel
Trying to make you bend
On the ground, you won't kneel

In this imperialist world
Where it's sink or swim
You have to fight the man
Stand proudly against him

On a United front
Where we Struggle and fight
Doing anything and everything
That's Within our might!

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[Abuse] [Perry Correctional Institution] [South Carolina] [ULK Issue 44]
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Prison Dog Rehab Program Underscores Inhumynity to Humyns

The rehabilitation program for abused dogs at Perry Correctional Institution (PCI) is commendable. Prisoners have the primary responsibility to care for and rehabilitate abused animals. Selected prisoners have dogs assigned to them and they literally spend all of their time with these dogs; they even have to share a 6 by 10 foot cell with them. This is a remarkable program wherein prisoners are allowed to show love, compassion, and empathy for their fellow creatures.

Being that these dogs have been abused, it is expected that it will take some time for them to be fully rehabilitated. It is also expected that these animals remember their former abuse and at times may become scared, agitated, and even dangerous. Example in point: At least two of the K-9s in the program here at PCI (Shep and Pippin) have bitten people. Nevertheless, instead of these dogs being euthanized, they are allowed to remain in the rehabilitation program and even to be sent to live with families out in society. The program organizers and the prisoners themselves realize that real rehabilitation takes time, patience, compassion, love, and understanding. In contrast, there are many prisoners here (including myself) who have been given Life Without Parole (LWOP) under South Carolina's two-strikes law, who may never see their families again.

It is no secret that a large number of imprisoned people come from families and homes where abuse has been rampant. Why is there no rehabilitation program for them? Do we not afford human beings equal rights with dogs? The truthful and troubling answer is no.

Here at PCI prisoners see staff members hugging and kissing the dogs, but they themselves are not given common or even professional courtesy. And in fact, we are disrespected on a daily basis, from the warden all the way down to new officers who haven't even been certified yet.

The dogs are fed with expensive dog food such as Purina, while the South Carolina Department of Corruptions (SCDC) brags about feeding prisoners for less than a dollar a day. The dogs are given brand new mattresses stacked up to sleep on, but a prisoner has to damn near go through an act of congress to get anything new around here. The dogs have new stainless steel bowls to eat out of, while we have plastic trays that are peeling so bad that each time someone eats in the mess hall, they are assured a healthy diet of plastic.

I've complained continuously about the peeling trays to several staff members (Lt. Church, Lt. Wilson, Cpt. Williams, food service employees J. Husband and B. Olsen) and even filed a grievance. But we are still eating plastic.

I believe that animals are a source of therapy for human beings, especially those human beings who are denied the basic rights of humanity itself. We love these abused animals, because we know their plight and can feel their pain. And as these dogs are being rehabilitated so that they can be placed in loving homes, we are being treated worse than dogs.

How is it that people can rationalize and believe the rehabilitation of a dog, but not a man? It is a shame and a travesty that there is a genuine rehabilitation program here at PCI for dogs, but not for humans.

The dogs have People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Why don't prisoners have People for the Ethical Treatment of Humans (PETH)? The simple truth of the matter is that the landlords of these gated communities don't believe in rehabilitation for the human residents.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade's off-the-cuff proposal for a People for the Ethical Treatment of Humyns (PETH) organization underscores an important point about capitalism: it is based on treating humyns as nothing more than labor to create profit, or worse, as an obstacle to stealing resources. There are many compassionate people in the First World who devote much time and money to bettering the treatment of animals while ignoring the plight of people around the world suffering in truly unlivable conditions, without clean water, access to medical care, sufficient food, and often all this while in danger from a war initiated by the imperialists to gain greater control of strategic resources.

MIM(Prisons) is a part of this PETH battle, in the broader context of opposing the imperialist system that is fundamentally inhumyn. We are fighting for a world where no people have power to oppress other people. In these conditions we will be able to create a society where people do not die unnecessarily, and do not suffer so that others can profit. This will only be possible when we overthrow imperialism, the imperialists won't make these changes out of the kindness of their hearts because the exploitation and oppression of humyns is an integral part of the profit system.

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[Censorship] [Stiles Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 44]
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Texas Denies Prisoners All Access to Paper and Envelopes

I'm writing because here in Texas the legislature or some "committee" got the bright idea to forbid prisoners the ability to purchase stationary materials (writing paper, typing paper, envelopes of all kinds, and carbon paper) from outside vendors. This really is felt by those who do legal work and those who refuse to support this state. We are now obligated to further support it by purchasing stationary from commissary.

Before this rule was adopted and enforced, one could purchase stationary items from the outside. This was especially good while on a unit lockdown when one needed paper (especially in litigation), because one could do an outside purchase and still get the paper. On a unit lockdown all movement comes to a halt! No commissary, nothing. So no commissary, no paper.

Now, of course, this system has a rule where after seven days on a lockdown one can use the state's "indigent" process, even having funds in one's account. But what the rule states, and what the indigent supply supervisor (usually the law library supervisor) does, are two different things. Let's say it's a four week lockdown. So the first week is "free" or s/he doesn't have to worry about filling out stationary requests. Then week two comes along and all those requests come in. Now the supervisor claims that there's "too many" requests and can't get around to sending the requester their "assigned" indigent supply envelope (ISE). There goes week two, with no paper. Now, each building has their "assigned" request day so this wise ass stupid-visor knows which day is the building's request day. S/he then sends the ISE on the day that the requests are to be made — there goes week three. Week four, you finally make your request, but you come off lockdown, with no supplies sent, and you haven't written in a whole month. Then you have to wait to go to the store.

By the time any grievance is heard the stupid-visor now has his goons kicking down your door searching all your "legal work" under the guise of "probable cause" of written contraband, but really it's retaliation. After all your shit has been ransacked and possibly stolen, in the end you've been fucked good with no claim upon which relief can be granted.

eCommDirect usually allows people on the outside to purchase commissary items for prisoners, but they are not allowed during a lockdown. And if you're in a custody level of what's known in Texas as a G-4 or closed custody there are no eComms allowed any time anyway.

So what does the system do to stop you if you're a writ writer? Make you a G-4 or closed custody. And you can be disciplined for anything! The way the rule reads, an open bag of chips is "contraband" cause it's not as you bought it! Everyone with a little sense will know that the prison system disciplinary process is only a means of control.


MIM(Prisons adds: Beyond just the disciplinary process inside prisons, the entire prison system, from denial of writing materials, to long-term isolation, is set up for social control. There's nothing rehabilitative or corrective about the Amerikan criminal injustice system. Denial of paper and envelopes is a clever way for Texas to try to stop people from using the grievance and legal system to address injustices. It is no surprise that many prisoners turn to physical violence when all other avenues are cut off. But in the face of this increased repression we call on all prisoners to come together, build unity and peace and join a broader movement to fight both these specific injustices and the broader imperialist system. United we can have an impact and build for revolutionary change!

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Making Peace


They say "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link"
So all this prison violence gives me the creeps
Those prison wars that help keep us all blindfolded
We don't see where all that has been going
I can feel it as if these walls are closing in on me
But somehow I'm still opening up some cell doors
As if I have the key
For all those who want to be freed
Mentally
The last thing we need is to make one another enemy
So whoever's serving time, we have to draw a line
That makes room for some peace
Do you feel me?
If so, throw up them deuces
That gives us all a sign that you're all for
Making peace!

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 45]
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No Stopping Me

Locking us down simply because they can
Trying to break us down to make us feel less of a man
Instill hate in us, turning us against each other
When will we utilize our 3rd eye which is the mind
Through its strength alone it will break these chains that got us blind
We must stand as one together, we must unite
Realize violence is not the only way to fight
So much can be done by the force of a powerful voice
Confined behind these walls but my mind will never be under lock and key
Exercise my mind daily so there's no stopping me

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